Wests Tigers have released centre Mitch Brown from his contract, freeing him up to play for the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.
Speaking exclusively with the Advertiser, Wests Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys said Brown approached the club for a release because he wanted to take up an opportunity at the Bulldogs.
''He's a terrific young bloke,'' Humphreys said.
''We wish him well and he's enjoyed his time here.
''He turns 25 this year and he felt he needed to position himself somewhere where he could secure a starting spot.
''His preferred position is centre.''
Brown has played 39 games for the Tigers and has scored seven tries.
He joined the club in 2010 after a four-year stint with the Cronulla Sharks.
Brown is known as a utility player and can slot into the roles of fullback, winger or centre – positions for which there is no shortage of candidates at the Tigers.
The club has plenty of talent on its books for the fullback, winger and centre positions, with the likes of Chris Lawrence, Matt Utai, Beau Ryan, Blake Ayshford, Lote Tuqiri, James Tedesco, John Grant, Joel Reddy, Tom Humble and Tim Simona able fill the five positions.
The Wests Tigers are expected to release a statement in the coming hour.
The Wests Tigers released this statement at 12.30pm:
Wests Tigers has announced that utility back Mitch Brown has been granted an immediate release from the final year of his contract.
Brown was off contract at the end of 2012 season. He will now join the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.
The Club was approached by Brown’s management recently about a release from Wests Tigers. Brown is keen to shed the utility tag and cement one permanent starting position.
“I really enjoyed my time at Wests Tigers and feel my game has developed significantly under Tim Sheens,’’ Brown said.
“I really appreciate Wests Tigers allowing me to take up this opportunity at the Bulldogs.”